We have once again encountered insinuations that Republican President Hakainde Hichilema is responsible for the arrest of opposition leaders in the country.
Firstly, no opposition leader has been arrested based on their societal positions, and the President has nothing to do with citizens engaging in unlawful activities. Despite the global economic challenges, the President is diligently working to revive the economy and restore the rule of law, notwithstanding a heightened malicious campaign against his efforts. Malice against the President is something his opponents have employed all his political life. But he is unequivocal in ensuring the rule law is respected in this country.
Accusations of arresting opposition leaders are therefore unfounded and ill conceived. No one has been arrested solely for being an opposition leader or hailing from certain regions; however, some citizens have been detained on suspicion of criminal offenses. Being an opposition leader doesn’t grant immunity to lawlessness. This will not be accepted, now or in future.
It’s crucial to clarify that no individual in Zambia will be shielded from the law based on their political affiliation. The law will be applied impartially, fairly, and resolutely. State institutions will act within legal boundaries to prevent the country from descending into lawlessness and complete anarchy.
Political parties are very important for a thriving democracy, but citizens will not allow that they be formed for criminal activities. Everyone on Zambian soil, regardless of political affiliation or regional background, is subject to due process, if suspected of violating the country’s laws.
We trust our Police Service to make arrests based on suspected lawbreaking, adhering to the rule of law. We appeal to all Zambians and stakeholders to condemn criminal activities hiding behind opposition politics.
Despite being a longer-serving and larger opposition party, we adhered to the law. Being in opposition shouldn’t excuse lawlessness. It’s essential to question why today, being in opposition seems to grant a license for lawlessness, defended by those who should uphold the law.
It’s crucial to support the police maintaining law and order, not turning weapons against them. Our plea is for all Zambians and stakeholders to condemn criminality rather than accusing the Presidency of instructing arrests.
The President is focused on national development and doesn’t instruct police on arrests. The police follow legal protocols, knowing when the law is broken and how to handle suspected lawbreakers. Citizens should use civil language, avoiding conflicts with the law. Believing that conflict with the law increases chances of ascending to the Presidency is flawed reasoning and delusional.
Chief Communications Specialist